Travel to The Biltmore Estate: the United State’s Biggest, Most Luxurious Home

by Anne Johnson on March 11, 2014

in Art, Behind the Scenes, Collections, Geneology, History, Museum Issues, Travel and Tourism

The Biltmore Estate is the largest mansion in the United States, located in Biltmore County in Asheville, North Carolina. Created and owned by George Washington Vanderbilt the 3rd, the mansion was officially opened to the public on Christmas Eve in 1895. Taking six years to build, the mansion has four acres of floor space, with 250 rooms, 33 family/ guest bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, and three kitchens.  Equally astonishing is the surrounding 125,000 acres the house the mansion’s forest, parks, gardens, farms, dairies, and roads.

The Vanderbilts have worked for their success; Cornelius Vanderbilt, the founder of the family fortune, turned a $100 loan into a million dollar ferry service operating in New York. On his death he left his estate, worth $100 million to his son, who doubled their fortune through his own entrepreneurial ventures. However, it was not until George Vanderbilt that Biltmore was built, and he was struck with the idea after a visit to Asheville in 1888 with his mother Maria Louisa. Vanderbilt requested Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmstead to help build his dream home, and in 1895 the estate was finally ready to be shown to the public, for both viewing and hosting some of the biggest parties of the century.

When you go to the Biltmore Estate, 41 of the amazing 250 rooms are on display for public viewing. All are lovely, but some of the most memorable greet you as you walk in the front door. In the center of the room, directly beyond the mansion doors, is the winter garden. This indoor garden has a glass roof, and was the fashion in the Victorian period. When it was too cold outside to enjoy gardens or flowers, guests and the family could recline here and admire the flora growing inside.

This is the lovely Winter Garden, a sight that greets visitors upon their arrival at the Biltmore Mansion.

Another room worth a look is the bedroom of Lady Edith Vanderbilt. Posh and bright, the room has beautiful carpets, draperies and velvet covered furniture. Lady Edith Vanderbilt was a generous and charming hostess. When she arrived at Vanderbilt, Lady Edith quickly established a school for success, teaching skills such as sewing and cooking, and ensuring futures for its attendees. Many of Lady Vanderbilt’s students were servants, or members of the lower class, looking for ways to earn a living.   Orphaned at the age of ten, Edith Vanderbilt was raised by her grandparents, and learned her humbleness and generosity at a young age. She is still renowned today for her kindness, and considered one of the finest women in the Vanderbilt family.

Lady Edith Vanderbilt’s room at the Biltmore Estate

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The grand Biltmore Estate from the outside

We invite you to purchase your tickets to visit the Biltmore Estate through Also available are links to Amazon for products with more information about the historic Biltmore mansion, including books and DVDs.  Thank you in advance for helping to make a difference.

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